The Annual Meeting of the Provincial Grand Charity was held at Chesterfield on 3rd September 2008 under the Chairmanship of the Grand President, R.W. Bro. Graham Rudd.
The President announced that he had reappointed W. Bro. Brian Quartermain as Chairman of the Provincial Grand Charity for a further three years.
In the absence through illness of the Chairman his Annual Report was presented by the Secretary, W. Bro. Graham Sisson, who advised the brethren present that a copy would be circulated to all members with the next edition of the Derbyshire Circle.
The Provincial Grand Treasurer, W. Bro. Geoffrey Crawford, presented the annual accounts for adoption and the Reporting Accountant (known formerly as the Auditor) advised that they were in order, following which advice the accounts were accepted. The President thanked the Treasurer for his work during the year.
W. Bro. A.G. Toon was re-elected as a Charity Steward representative on the Standing Committee and the President announced that he had reappointed W. Bros. Richard McDonald, Joe Clark and Neil Hartburn.
The President thanked the Chairman, Secretary, Charity Steward and other officers of the Provincial Grand Charity for their work during the past year.
He reminded members of the visit by the Chief Executive of the Samaritan Fund to Derby and Chesterfield on 30th September and asked for support.
W. Bro. McDonald gave a brief update on the 2014 Festival, expressing concern over the relatively small number of direct debits set up so far.
W. Bro. Joe Clark asked Charity Stewards to consider making payment to the Province for this year’s carol sheets before sale to ensure that funds were available for distribution to the President’s nominated charity at an early date.
The Annual Meeting was preceded by the half-yearly Advisory Committee of Charity Stewards and Almoners which was attended by around 45 members and chaired by the Vice-Chairman, W. Bro. Peter Hodcroft.
The Provincial Treasurer presented a Statement of Accounts for the year ended 30th June 2008 and drew attention to certain points. He advised brethren that the annual income included £53,000 profit on the sale of investments and that the cash had been retained for future investment when rates were more attractive.
The Party in the Park had produced a net income of over £7,200 to date with a further £3,500 being passed to the Festival Executive as a result of the sale of raffle tickets.
Bank interest had increased by over £7,000 while investment income had fallen as a result of market forces. £22,000 had been donated to non-Masonic charities during the year and the overall balance now stood at £1.29M with the market value of investments at almost £1.4M.
The Provincial Charity Steward, W. Bro. John Renshaw, reminded brethren that, while the 2014 Festival was the main thrust in terms of fund raising the Provincial Grand Charity still required funds and the Party in the Park had made a major contribution for which he thanked all Lodges and the area sales co-ordinators.
The Provincial Almoner, W. Bro. Brian Jones, gave a detailed report of his activities since assuming office and advised that there was a need to improve the information included on applications to the national charities and that he intended to hold a seminar at which this matter would be addressed.
The Secretary, W. Bro. Graham Sisson, advised that, following the success of the Party in the Park, the Standing Committee had resolved to make an application to the Chatsworth Trustees for a similar event to be held in 2010.
The Vice-Chairman reminded members that applications to the Province from Lodges and brethren were not necessarily matched equally but that each application was dealt with on its merits.
A brother asked if it would be possible to consider arranging future meetings of the Advisory Committee for the early evening to assist working brethren and the Vice-Chairman agreed to refer the matter to the Standing Committee for consideration.
A question was asked as to why the Province was not represented at the various shows around the County and it was agreed that the matter should be referred to the General Purposes Committee for possible financial support to individual Lodges to enable them to attend.
The question was raised of a possible plaque being provided at the Alrewas Arboretum recording former Derbyshire brethren who had lost their lives in the various conflicts in this and the last century. It was agreed to place this item on a future agenda of the Standing Committee.
The Standing Committee had met earlier in the day and the Secretary advised the members that he had received information from W. Bro. Bernard Eyre that a total of almost £2,500 had now been received into Provincial Charity funds from the exchange of foreign coinage.
The Secretary reported that an emergency grant had been made to a brother in need and the Committee endorsed the action.
Albert Wilson Fund
One grant of £108 had been made from the Fund to meet a Lodge subscription.
Graham M. Sisson